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Game Info:

Kite
Developed by: Lab Cat Games
Published by: Lab Cat Games
Release date: March 7, 2018
Available on: Windows
Genre: Action, RPG
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: not rated
Price: $9.99

Thank you Lab Cat Games for sending us this game to review!

Kite is Lab Cat Games' first published title. In 2016, it was released as an Early Access game and the full version came out in 2018. The final version added controller support and five additional levels totaling thirteen.

The story takes place after a revolution and in a time of peace between nature and technology. Mankind has learned from their mistakes and have banned manufacturing of weapons. However, not everyone is obeying the worldwide ban. Arch City is where most weapons are still being manufactured and it’s up to you to infiltrate it and rescue the scientists trapped within its walls.

It’s a difficult task, but with your Human Operated Remote Droid (H.O.R.D.) you have a chance with powerful weapons, shields, and turbo speed at your disposal. With all of the technological advances, there are always drawbacks including energy limitations and reload rates. The good news is that the scientists you rescue will help unlock blueprints for more powerful weapons. Tech scraps that you collect in the levels will enable you to craft the newly available weapons. Skill points are earned by completing the levels in a reasonable amount of time and will allow you to further enhance your H.O.R.D. by unlocking various upgrades. For example, you can enhance attributes like energy, stamina, and speed, or increase the chance of a critical hit.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice pixel art reminiscent of 90s games; good retro music!
Weak Points: Graphical glitches when running at 4K; repetitive levels; cheap difficulty mechanics on the final boss; confusing level design
Moral Warnings: Bloodless violence; language (d*mn)

To clear each level, you’ll have to complete the objectives in a specific order, with the exception of rescuing scientists which can be done at any time. Enemy spawners and turrets will keep coming back until you take out the power supplies keeping them online. Later levels have these components protected by shields and you have to take out the shield generators and servers keeping those online before you can destroy the protected devices.

Along with turrets, you’ll have to contend with mines and spiked areas that hurt you if you stand on them too long. Running across these with your turbo ability is your best course of action. The enemies are mostly robotic but there are some humanoid ones. I don’t recall seeing any blood, just explosions.

A couple of levels have a boss at the end of them. You can constantly respawn and most of the time the enemies slowly regenerate. The final level shows no mercy and in my opinion implements cheap tactics to inflate the difficulty. The final boss room is filled with spikes and the boss fully regains its health when you go back to fight it. It constantly fires missiles and spawns out a bunch of enemies without giving you much of a chance to attack it.

Kite
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay: 12/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls: 4/5

Morality Score - 86%
Violence: 6/10
Language: 7/10
Sexual Content: 10/10
Occult/Supernatural: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 10/10

Though a bit repetitive, the gameplay is fun in small bursts. This game was designed with a keyboard and mouse to play it so that’s what I used. The controls work quite well, though after a while my wrist started to hurt.

I appreciate the retro look and feel. The pixel art is nicely done though the level design can be a bit confusing at times. It’s hard to tell what your character can and cannot walk on at times. I used the destructible environments as a reference for where I’ve been before. When running this game in 4K the screen turning red as your character takes damage only covers a portion of the game window.

The electronic synthesized music and sound effects are fitting for this game. I like the sounds of the ammo falling to the ground and the various robotic noises. There is no voice acting, just text dialogue. Some mild language (d*mn) can be seen.

Though Kite is a little rough around the edges, it can still be fun in small spurts. The final boss has annoyed me so I haven’t beaten the game. If you do enjoy retro action games it’s worth checking out when it goes on sale.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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